Have you been pushed into the Appraisal Process by your insurance company?
Confused about what, when, where or how to proceed? Get the answers that will give you peace of mind now.
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Absolutely! You can challenge your insurance’s scope of work and invoke Appraisal
We completely understand how it feels when you have provided detailed estimates from contractors, receipts for repairs, and documented photos showing the damages – yet your insurance company still refuses to accept them as part of your claim.
You may not know, but home and business owners often disagree with their insurance company’s assessment of an insurance claim. Nevertheless, few are aware that they can dispute the conclusions made by the insurer through the Insurance Appraisal Process! It is your right as a policy holder!
By using the Insurance Appraisal Process, policyholders can enlist an impartial appraiser to assess their losses. Likewise, the insurer employs a separate appraiser, and the two of them will get together and select an umpire – essentially the arbiter or ‘judge’ – in case they disagree on something.
Most Policies Have the Insurance Appraisal Clause
Just take the time to review your insurance policy for its Appraisal Clause. It is typically located in either the “What to do after a loss” or “Conditions” section of your document.
Here is an example of how it might look like in your policy:
APPRAISAL – If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either one can demand that the amount of the loss be set by appraisal. If either makes a written demand for appraisal, each shall select a competent, independent appraiser. Each shall notify the other of the appraiser’s identity within 20 days of receipt of the written demand. The two appraisers shall then select a competent, impartial umpire. If the two appraisers are unable to agree upon an umpire within 15 days, you or we can ask a judge of a court of record in the state where the residence premises is located to select an umpire. The appraisers shall then set the amount of the loss. If the appraisers fail to agree within a reasonable time, they shall submit their differences to the umpire. A written agreement signed by any two of these three shall set the amount of the loss.
To this point, the fundamentals of insurance appraisal have been established.
To recap, the insurance appraisal process involves the following:
These individuals, known as The Appraisal Panel, aim to determine the total dollar amount needed to return the damaged property to its original condition. In addition, the panel reviews documents, estimates, and differences between them to resolve any issues.
The insurance company may determine that brick on a home does not need to be replaced. However, the policyholder’s appraiser says it has to be replaced. The two appraisers will discuss their reasons for their position and try to agree, first, if it should be repaired or replaced, and secondly, the cost to return the brick to its original condition before the loss.
The short answer is yes, but it is NOT RECOMMENDED for the following reasons:
If the Appraisal Clause is in your policy then it is always an option!
However, it’s wise to point out that Appraisal is usually an option when there is a substantial difference in the amount between the two estimate totals.
Let’s say a fire completely destroys a house and the homeowner’s property (Known as the Contents). The difference between what the insurance company wants to pay and what you wish to receive is $5,000. In this situation, the Appraisal Process is not the best idea. After paying the fees involved for the appraisal, you may not end up with much of the $5,000 being disputed.
Now, if we take the same fire that destroys the property and the dispute between the policyholder and the insurance company is $40,000, appraisal should be considered. The policyholder now has a chance to recover substantially more money than originally offered.
Does My Policy Have The Insurance Appraisal Clause?
Most policies will have the provision listed under the “What to do after a loss” section or the “Conditions” section of the policy.
When selecting an Independent Appraiser, it is important to consider their expertise with the losses sustained, comprehensive knowledge of insurance claims handling, and direct insight into the damaged property and its replacement cost.
Call us today for a free consultation!
A real estate appraiser is a professional who estimates the value of a piece of real property, such as a house or land. They use various methods to determine a property’s value, including analyzing comparable sales, examining the property’s condition, and taking into account any relevant economic factors. The goal of an appraisal is to provide an unbiased estimate of a property’s value, which can be used for various purposes such as mortgage lending, property tax assessment, and property sales.
An independent appraiser is a professional not affiliated with any particular party involved in a transaction or dispute. The policyholder and the insurance company typically hire them to determine the value of a loss in case of a dispute. The independent appraiser is responsible for providing a fair and impartial estimate of the value of the loss, and their determination of value is typically binding on both parties. By using an independent appraiser, both the policyholder and the insurance company can have confidence that the value of the loss has been determined fairly and impartially.
As you can see, a real estate appraiser is far from what is needed for an Insurance Appraisal. An Independent “Insurance” Appraiser is an insurance claims expert on costs and processes to repair or replace damaged property)
As you can see, a Real Estate Appraiser and an Insurance Appraiser offer two entirely distinct services. An insurance appraiser has been educated and trained in claims, costs, repairs, and replacement of damaged properties. A Real Estate Appraiser estimates the value of a property as a whole.
A construction attorney is not recommended.
A Construction Attorney most likely has knowledge of construction contracts and issues that building contractors have.
The appraisal process can be invoked by either party involved in the policy but must be done with a written request. Furthermore, each policy has an allotted time frame in which this should take place. Therefore, even if a claim is years out of date, it can still be disputed and reopened for review! To ensure that your appeal is received promptly and properly, we recommend sending the request to invoke the appraisal via certified mail.
By submitting a letter to your insurance company, you trigger the Appraisal Clause and thus initiate an independent appraisal process. As part of this procedure, both the insurer and policyholder will appoint their own separate appraiser.
An excellent Appraiser can generate their own line-item detailed estimate to repair or replace the damaged property, secure multiple bids from reputable contractors to back their findings, know building codes, and articulate unforeseen repair costs, especially if a building has historic features with materials like solid Adler doors, large detailed moldings, and custom cabinets. In this case, a significant amount of research with a salvager may be needed.
A structural engineer is not recommended.
A structural engineer may have the expertise to estimate a building’s replacement cost, but what about assessing the damage done to its contents, such as furniture and food? Or are they familiar with insurance policies, claims procedures, the software utilized by insurers, or the Appraisal Process?
At Safeguard, we have passionate professionals working in the insurance industry since 1985. Our drive comes from helping people get through the “what now?” when dealing with insurance and loss. We aim to satisfy people’s protection needs because when the Insurance Company is not on their side-Safeguard is.
Cheryl Jones assisted me with a claim I had for damage to my roof. State Farm would only approve $900.00 for the repair . I have $1,000.00 deductible so… read full review
Cheryl Jones assisted me with a claim I had for damage to my roof. State Farm would only approve $900.00 for the repair . I have $1,000.00 deductible so that means State Farm would give me nothing . With Cheryls help my roof, gutters and leaf guards replaced by State Farm insurance. She worked closely with the adjuster to obtain a fair settlement based on my policy coverage. During the course of the claim she met with both the company adjuster and my contractor to make sure everything was settled for me. Cheryl also communicated with me on a regular basis so I understood where my claim stood.
I would highly recommend the Safeguard Public adjusting.